Prolacta's Tour, A Meeting of NICU Advocates
Last month, an incredible company named Prolacta Bioscience brought 20 women together with one powerful connection; the NICU. I was honored to be invited but when I first got there, I read through the list of attendees and their bios and thought to myself, “did I get invited on accident?” The guests were all incredible advocates within the NICU world. Several of the women ran incredible nonprofits, some were medical professionals and most all had given birth to a NICU baby at one point.
Prior to this event, I had only met 2 women in person who had given birth to infants with extreme prematurity. Only two! It always surprises me when I think about that because I have interacted with thousands of women with preemies, but it is so rare to meet in person. This made the event that much more special.
Prolacta hosted us for what they call their Advocacy Tour. All the guests make waves in the NICU world in one way or another. We got to wine, dine, and mingle with each other while learning all about Prolacta and its incredible impact on the lives of infants. Until my twins’ birth, I had never heard of this product or the company. It is a prescription based breast milk fortifier made specifically for critically ill infants. The product is clinically proven to improve the health of babies and reduce all sorts of complications and my boys are living, breathing and thriving proof of it.
Prolacta has an impressive facility and a massive cooler of frozen breast milk. We got to learn about the extensive process of milk donation. I remember how challenging pumping just for my twins was and to see the work of so many selfless mothers doing the same for vulnerable infants was so quite moving. I left feeling so grateful that a company like Prolacta exists and their thousands of breast milk donors.
When my twins were born, Prolacta was part of our NICU’s standard practice of care. For me, it was by luck that Lochlan and Lex both received the product while they were admitted to the NICU. Otherwise, I would have not known to advocate for it. While at the tour, I was quite shocked to find out that not all NICUs are currently offering this product, especially after seeing the incredible data. When critically ill babies are given a human-milk based diet, it is clinically proven to reduce the risk of:
- - Retinopathy of prematurity
- - Late-onset sepsis
- - Necrotizing enterocolitis
- - Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
It’s hard to imagine where my twins would be (or would not be) had they had not been given this product. I feel grateful that at the time, my husband and I had been given this option to give our boys Prolacta. I hope that every parent of a critically-ill infant also has the opportunity to, at minimum, ask about Prolacta if it is not standard in their NICU.
Here are the organizations that were represented during the tour, they are most definitely worth checking out:
- - COINN The Council of International Neonatal Nurses, Inc or COINN is an exciting organization that represents nurses who specialize in the care of newborn infants and their families or have a special interest in this area of nursing.
- - Eli Collins Foundation helps the parents and families of premature babies cope during such a difficult phase in their lives, stay encouraged, receive support from several resources, and keep the faith that even though they have endured such a challenge, life will continue and so will they.
- - Glo Preemies GLO Preemies™ seeks to raise the voice of black families in the NICU and post-NICU in terms of creating racial and health equity through professional healthcare services, family educational initiatives, and family support up for African American families for a continuous 18 years.
- - ICU Baby is on a mission to unite NICU families and provide them with financial, emotional and informational support so that families and babies can thrive together in the NICU
- - Mended Little Hearts provides hope and support, creating awareness and being a strong voice for CHD families everywhere
- - NAAN National Association of Neonatal Nurses
- - NBNA National Black Nurses Association
- - National Perinatal Association
- - NICU Alumni educates families, medical professionals, and communities to support children as they navigate life after the NICU
- - Project NICU connects with NICU parents and offers resources to support them during their journey both in the hospital and beyond including care packages, peer support and events.
- - Prolacta Bioscience
- - Saul's Light is a New Orleans-based nonprofit that provides support and community to families with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
- - Today is a Good Day provides personal and financial support for families who experience the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).